By Siri Doddapaneni
The new year brought a new group of leaders to head JuSTEMagine. Co-Founder and President Jack Cenovic explained that selecting the new board members was a very rigorous process, but he believes that JuSTEMagine is in great hands and is excited that so many students are enthusiastic about the importance of JuSTEMagine’s mission to spread STEM and SEL learning. "We have a lot of great momentum with our current outreach, and I am confident that we are going to continue growing and expanding our impact for many years to come." expressed Cenovic.
The new Director of Outreach for JuSTEMagine in 2022 is Victoria King. Victoria shared her ambitious plans to expand JuSTEMagine, first by starting a chapter in Georgia. Victoria has a lot of past experience and outreach, including mentoring FLL teams at FPD and Campus Clubs, providing FIRST robotics education to youth, and hosting STEM summer camps, and hopes to tie these experiences into her role as director.
She also hopes to establish new partnerships with organizations such as United in Pink and 4-H and share her love of STEM with the rest of JuSTEMagine and the community. Victoria hopes “to maintain these existing initiatives as well as work with other board members to make JuSTEMagine the best ever! I’m also excited to connect with likeminded people who share the same goal of spreading STEM and SEL to the world. It’s so exciting to meet innovative peers I can grow with.”
The SEL coordinator for 2022 is Siri Doddapaneni. Siri recently joined JuSTEMagine in the fall of 2021, and her main contribution was working with SPARKPositivity on their Positivity in a Box initiative. Siri expressed her enthusiasm to be able to put into action her ideas for expansion and she hopes to use her personal experiences to spread SEL learning and mental health awareness. She shared that she is looking into reestablishing relations with Completely Kids and partnering with the organization Kids Can to bring SEL learning to children and teens who aren’t able to receive this training, as well as continuing to work with SPARKPositivity.
Siri stated “JuSTEMagine has helped me grow in more ways than one, and I plan to use that experience to give back to the community in any way I can. Especially with COVID, SEL learning is more important than ever, and I’m glad that I’m able to work with so many people who share the same vision.”
The new Girls in STEAM coordinator is Serena Zezulak. Serena explained that she has always had a passion for STEM, and in fourth grade, she was the only girl on her robotics team where it was difficult to find girls who shared her vision. After joining Eureka!, an all-girls STEM program with Girl’s, Inc., she was able to meet many girls who shared the same passion for STEM, and plans to help other young girls boost their confidence and learn more about themselves. Serena also expressed that the amount of women are widely unrepresented in the STEM field and stated “I chose to go out for the Girls in STEAM Coordinator position because of how being surrounded by girls interested in STEM has impacted my life. I hope that by being in this position, I can help young girls, who are also interested in STEM, explore and expand this interest.”
A newer position this year is the role of ESports coordinator, which is being taken up by Mona Lao. Mona stated that she was attracted towards an ESports station at a JuSTEMagine event, and after talking with past JuSTEMagine president Jack Cenovic, she wanted to start up something with ESports through JuSTEMagine. Mona believes that while ESports is fairly new, it’s something exciting that binds people together. “It gives people an opportunity to come together with their interests and compete or work on a team together and meet people with similar interests. Esports is important because it's an opportunity for people to come together and just play video games.” said Mona.
The most common trait our new board members have is the ambition to expand JuSTEMagine across the country, and this group of leaders certainly paint the future of JuSTEMagine bright. We greatly appreciate the foundation laid by our past board members, and we hope to use all our resources to impact the community in the biggest way possible. Congratulations to the JuSTEMagine 2022-2023 board members!